Thursday, August 2, 2012

If you want a rational result, take rational actions

Not counting the archaic one’s we have discontinued using, the foreign and ancient language ones we have adopted and the colloquial slang we favor, there are approximately 1,013,913 words in the English language. The “literate” American knows approximately 50,000, a little less than 5%. The “average” American, by some estimates knows around 5,000. I’ll let you do the math. After all 3/4ths of the population tends to finish high school. Of course America only ranks what 25th or 26th in math, so God knows how many of the graduates can actually do the math. … Oh wait, I shouldn’t invoke God because professing a belief structure will get me publically blasted as an intolerant bigoted by those who suppose I might not agree with them…

So let me get back to my core issue today, language. I’m going to be blunt, without the words you don’t have the concepts. Without the concepts, you have very little upon which to base your decisions. Meaning, your actions are likely to be random and ineffective.

A young man is arrested after a robbery of a convince store, when asked for his confession… which he gives because he doesn’t know he can refuse… he says, “I need money so I go to the store and say give me the money.”

Ok, many such men do not speak in full articulated sentences. But, many do only speak in present tense. And I believe this is a lot of why impulses are not self governed. If you think about it, if everything is present, you can’t be blamed for what has happened because it doesn’t exist, and you don’t have to fear consequences because the future isn’t.

Am I saying better language skills would lower the crime rate? … actually I believe they would. With words comes concepts and with concepts comes understanding.

And it’s not just the petty criminals that seem to be losing the benefits of understanding. Let us consider the protest of Chic-fil-A restaurants. Before I wade into this mine field, my position on marriage and civil rights is irrelevant so I will try to avoid it in this post. I should also say that the controversy do not inspire me to eat in their restaurants nor does it push me away. I try hard not to develop any new fast food addictions I do not already possess. For example I will not try the accursed rib sandwich…

So with that preamble, let us consider the protest of Chic-fil-A restaurants. What is being protested? I’ve read the articles claiming this is a first amendment issue …and those saying it’s not. I looked up the organizations that the corporation donated money to and all I can say is that if you think being opposed to same sex marriage is morally wrong; then yes, you are in opposition to the actions of this corporation. If you think that same sex marriage destroys the fabric of our democracy then you probably agree with their actions. If you hold neither extreme opinion then it is probably just a place to get a chicken sandwich.

Now, if you don’t like what a corporation does with its money, then you shouldn’t buy from them. If you don’t like the fact that a Nazi war criminal is on a board of directors, don’t buy the drugs. If you don’t like your products made by near slave labor, shop elsewhere. If you don’t like what a restaurant does with its profits, eat something else. And if you think the situation needs to change… change it.

And is that what we see here? I see a protest in the name of tolerance. And I ask, can an illogical concept yield rational fruit? Conceptually, no. But let’s see what the protests and “kiss-in” are actually accomplishing?

Protesters turned a probably heart felt comment into a movement. …Seriously a “Chic-fil-A appreciation day?” give me a break… People on social network sites are blasting patrons, franchisees and of course Christians in general.

And as a result sales at Chic-fil-A restaurants to jumped record breaking levels, and of course people who didn’t care were galvanized against same sex marriage. And this should have been anticipated. You do not win people over by insulting them or their beliefs. You’re not going to browbeat them into accepting same sex couples by extreme public displays of affections. You simply galvanize them against you.

Let’s face it if you desire to marry someone of the same gender you were already emotionally invested. If you don’t, the odds are you really don’t care. And I’m speaking in unfounded generalities. I know there are always people who look for causes or get sucked in because of friends, family or just the way their social conscious pulls them. But I think we can all agree that these people are the real minority.

We are a young nation not that many generations from the men who knew how to affect a change. We threw off a king and founded a democracy that has changed the world. And I guarantee you it wasn’t by pressing “like” on Facebook. People respond well to positive examples and poorly to name calling.

So, if you want to rant, rant … but if you want a rational result, take rational actions. Show people the benefit, or the lack of harm if that’s all you’ve got. Make a real plan, have a logical discussion. Ask the real questions. And if you want people to tolerate your differences, tolerate theirs. But if you must fight, as any good fencer knows, never attack into invitation.

There is an ultimate truth, even if we do not know what it is. And while one can be certain that all positions are not equally valid, reasonable men can and do disagree.

But above all, study, learn and think things through. This reactionary mentality that has infected our nation is tearing us apart.


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